|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:6-14 Naomi began to think of returning, after the death of her two sons. When death comes into a family, it ought to reform what is amiss there. Earth is made bitter to us, that heaven may be made dear. Naomi seems to have been a person of faith and piety. She dismissed her daughters-in-law with prayer. It is very proper for friends, when they part, to part with them thus part in love. Did Naomi do well, to discourage her daughters from going with her, when she might save them from the idolatry of Moab, and bring them to the faith and worship of the God of Israel? Naomi, no doubt, desired to do that; but if they went with her, she would not have them to go upon her account. Those that take upon them a profession of religion only to oblige their friends, or for the sake of company, will be converts of small value. If they did come with her, she would have them make it their deliberate choice, and sit down first and count the cost, as it concerns those to do who make a profession of religion. And more desire rest in the house of a husband, or some wordly settlement or earthly satisfaction, than the rest to which Christ invites our souls; therefore when tried they will depart from Christ, though perhaps with some sorrow.
Verse 8. - And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her mother's house. She reverted, with deeper earnestness, to their theme, of discussion. She acknowledged that most kindly had they acted toward her. Her heart was filled with gratitude. It was likewise agitated with grief at the prospect of bidding them a final farewell, Nevertheless, she felt that it would be unreasonable and unkind to invite them to be, to any further degree, sharers of her adversity. Hence, thanking them for their loving convoy, she would remind them that every step further on would only increase the length of their return-journey; and she said, Go, return each to her mother's home. There, in the females' apartment, and in the bosom of their mothers, they would surely find a welcome and a refuge. She judges of their mothers by herself, and she refers rather to them than to their fathers, partly, perhaps, because she bears in mind her own motherhood, but principally, no doubt, because, in those Oriental countries, it lay very particularly within the province of mothers to make arrangements in reference to their daughters. May Yahveh deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the deceased, and with me. It is beautiful gratitude, and at the same time a touching monument to the faithfulness and gentleness that had characterized and adorned the young widows. Her simple Hebrew theology, moreover, comes finely out. She assumes that her own Yahveh reigned in Moab as in Judah, and that all blessing descended from him. There is a little peculiarity in the Hebrew pronouns in this clause. They are masculine instead of feminine. The influence of the stronger sex overrides grammatically, for the moment, the influence of the weaker.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Naomi said to her two daughters in law,.... When they were come, as it is very probable, to the utmost limits of the land of Moab, and to the borders of the land of Israel:
go, return each unto her mother's house: the mother's house is mentioned, and not the father's, not because they had no father living; for it is certain Ruth had a father as well as a mother, Ruth 2:11 but because mothers are most affectionate to their daughters, and they most conversant together; and because women in those times had apartments to themselves, and who used to take their daughters to them when become widows; though such was the strong love of those young widows to their mother-in-law, that they chose rather to dwell with her, while she lived in Moab, than with their own mothers:
the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me; that is, with their husbands, who were dead; as the Targum is, that they refused to marry men after their death; or rather it respects their affectionate care of their husbands, and behaviour towards them when living, as well as the respect they showed to their memory, at and since their death; and also their filial duty to her, both before and since; and particularly, as the Targum expresses it, in that they had fed and supported her.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her mother's house—In Eastern countries women occupy apartments separate from those of men, and daughters are most frequently in those of their mother.
the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead—that is, with my sons, your husbands, while they lived.
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